This morning I was reading some Landmark History of the American People with Rose and Beanie, a quite fascinating chapter about Eli Whitney, and it mentioned an event that happened in 1809. That year always rings a bell for me: it was the year Laura Ingalls Wilder’s maternal grandmother, Charlotte Tucker Quiner Holbrook, was born—the Charlotte I wrote four novels about, and the mother of Caroline Quiner Ingalls (Laura’s Ma) in the Caroline books by Maria Wilkes.
A number of notable folks were born in that same year:
• Abraham Lincoln
• Charles Darwin
• Alfred, Lord Tennyson
• Edgar Allen Poe (The cast of Snoopy bursts forth into song in my brain: “Poe, Edgar Allen, American poet, born in eighteen hundred and nine…”)*
• Oliver Wendell Holmes
• Louis Braille
• Felix Mendelssohn
• Nicolai Gogol
…and no doubt a great many other memorable people. A lot of world-changers born that year, eh?**
* Doesn’t matter that I’ve heard the Snoopy soundtrack probably five hundred times over the course of my life (between my own high-school devotion to it and the obsession of more than one of my kids)—I still laugh every single time Charlie Brown chimes in with what he’s pretty sure are titles of Poe’s most famous works, and one of them is “Dickens’ Christmas Carol.” Hee!
** This post doesn’t really have a point. I just like to make lists.